CART's commitment to anti-racism

August 14, 2020

UCLA CART is dedicated to improving the lives of all children and adults with autism, and their families, through its research, patient care, and training of the next generation of researchers and clinical practitioners. It is in this context, that we stand in strong solidarity with our community and others across this country, catalyzed by the movement to support Black lives, in our outrage over the continuing disparities, brutality and structural racism that has disproportionately affected people of color. While we recognize that this is not a new phenomenon and reflects centuries of injustice, recent events, including the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, have brought the continuing systemic racism that plagues virtually all of our institutions to the forefront of our collective consciousness. Despite the courageous efforts of many, very little has changed. It is clearly time to act more definitively to address the problems of both pernicious and overt racism through anti-racist actions. Although CART investigators have dedicated substantial efforts to working with under-represented groups in their research and treatment programs, such as our work in genetics and developing community-based treatment programs, we recognize that we still have a long way to go to achieve our goals to minimize disparities in autism research and treatment. Racism and bigotry affect us all deeply. We pledge to continue to work to reduce the known racial disparities in autism diagnosis, treatment and participation in research, and acknowledge our responsibility to create a system of equity, increased diversity and inclusion within CART. We join with our patients and partners in Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities to continue to educate ourselves, take sustained action, and be accountable towards the goals of social justice and reducing health disparities.

—Dan Geschwind MD, PhD for UCLA CART